This task, written for the National Young Mathematicians' Award 2016, involves open-topped boxes made with interlocking cubes. Explore the number of units of paint that are needed to cover the boxes. . . .
Find your way through the grid starting at 2 and following these operations. What number do you end on?
Imagine a pyramid which is built in square layers of small cubes. If we number the cubes from the top, starting with 1, can you picture which cubes are directly below this first cube?
Use the three triangles to fill these outline shapes. Perhaps you can create some of your own shapes for a friend to fill?
What is the greatest number of counters you can place on the grid below without four of them lying at the corners of a square?
Make one big triangle so the numbers that touch on the small triangles add to 10. You could use the interactivity to help you.
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
Can you shunt the trucks so that the Cattle truck and the Sheep truck change places and the Engine is back on the main line?
What is the best way to shunt these carriages so that each train can continue its journey?
In how many ways can you fit two of these yellow triangles together? Can you predict the number of ways two blue triangles can be fitted together?
Hover your mouse over the counters to see which ones will be removed. Click to remover them. The winner is the last one to remove a counter. How you can make sure you win?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes could he have taken?
In a square in which the houses are evenly spaced, numbers 3 and 10 are opposite each other. What is the smallest and what is the largest possible number of houses in the square?
Swap the stars with the moons, using only knights' moves (as on a chess board). What is the smallest number of moves possible?
10 space travellers are waiting to board their spaceships. There are two rows of seats in the waiting room. Using the rules, where are they all sitting? Can you find all the possible ways?
Can you cover the camel with these pieces?
Here you see the front and back views of a dodecahedron. Each vertex has been numbered so that the numbers around each pentagonal face add up to 65. Can you find all the missing numbers?
What happens when you try and fit the triomino pieces into these two grids?
What is the smallest cuboid that you can put in this box so that you cannot fit another that's the same into it?
How many DIFFERENT quadrilaterals can be made by joining the dots on the 8-point circle?
Take a rectangle of paper and fold it in half, and half again, to make four smaller rectangles. How many different ways can you fold it up?
Can you make a 3x3 cube with these shapes made from small cubes?
This 100 square jigsaw is written in code. It starts with 1 and ends with 100. Can you build it up?
Can you work out how many cubes were used to make this open box? What size of open box could you make if you had 112 cubes?
What is the least number of moves you can take to rearrange the bears so that no bear is next to a bear of the same colour?
If you split the square into these two pieces, it is possible to fit the pieces together again to make a new shape. How many new shapes can you make?
How can you arrange the 5 cubes so that you need the smallest number of Brush Loads of paint to cover them? Try with other numbers of cubes as well.
Building up a simple Celtic knot. Try the interactivity or download the cards or have a go on squared paper.
This challenge involves eight three-cube models made from interlocking cubes. Investigate different ways of putting the models together then compare your constructions.
This article for teachers describes how modelling number properties involving multiplication using an array of objects not only allows children to represent their thinking with concrete materials,. . . .
Design an arrangement of display boards in the school hall which fits the requirements of different people.
How can the same pieces of the tangram make this bowl before and after it was chipped? Use the interactivity to try and work out what is going on!
Investigate the number of paths you can take from one vertex to another in these 3D shapes. Is it possible to take an odd number and an even number of paths to the same vertex?
How can you paint the faces of these eight cubes so they can be put together to make a 2 x 2 cube that is green all over AND a 2 x 2 cube that is yellow all over?
Here are more buildings to picture in your mind's eye. Watch out - they become quite complicated!
A magician took a suit of thirteen cards and held them in his hand face down. Every card he revealed had the same value as the one he had just finished spelling. How did this work?
Try to picture these buildings of cubes in your head. Can you make them to check whether you had imagined them correctly?
If you can post the triangle with either the blue or yellow colour face up, how many ways can it be posted altogether?
Exchange the positions of the two sets of counters in the least possible number of moves
Cut four triangles from a square as shown in the picture. How many different shapes can you make by fitting the four triangles back together?
In each of the pictures the invitation is for you to: Count what you see. Identify how you think the pattern would continue.
Can you predict when you'll be clapping and when you'll be clicking if you start this rhythm? How about when a friend begins a new rhythm at the same time?
How many different cuboids can you make when you use four CDs or DVDs? How about using five, then six?
A variant on the game Alquerque
Move just three of the circles so that the triangle faces in the opposite direction.
A game for two players. You'll need some counters.
Here are some arrangements of circles. How many circles would I need to make the next size up for each? Can you create your own arrangement and investigate the number of circles it needs?
One face of a regular tetrahedron is painted blue and each of the remaining faces are painted using one of the colours red, green or yellow. How many different possibilities are there?
How many different ways can you find of fitting five hexagons together? How will you know you have found all the ways?
In this town, houses are built with one room for each person. There are some families of seven people living in the town. In how many different ways can they build their houses?